Don't Prank a Kitten
A/N: If you're reading this chapter for the first time, ignore this message. If you're reading this again, wondering why I reposted this, it's because I saw some really bad spelling mistakes in this, and it was driving me crazy. :)
Evening came quickly. The mansion calmed down as the students went off to their rooms to hang out, read, play video games, and what not. Meanwhile, life was no so peaceful for the professor. He'd been without tea all morning and afternoon, which left him slightly cranky and on the edge. He hated to admit that he was suffering minor withdrawal symptoms, but that was what appeared to be happening. Then, Scott had asked to borrow his car, but hadn't come back yet. He'd been gone for a long time, which worried the professor, making him crankier. On top of that, items from his office seemed to disappear and reappear in places different from where he'd left them.
For example, he'd been reading a book in the morning. Then, he'd gone off to talk to a student. Upon returning to his office, the book wasn't on his desk where he was sure he'd left it. He found it later on his bed. Then, he'd been looking for some important paper work, only to find it wasn't in his desk drawer. He found it…on the windowsill. I must be getting old, he thought, exasperated. After misplacing the fourth item, he finally gave up and decided not to touch anything else out of fear of loosing it.
Unbeknownst to him, Kurt and Evan were little elves in the shadows, taking certain items and moving them, before vanishing in a puff of smoke.
Elsewhere, someone else was being edgy and paranoid. Kitty's mind had been playing tricks on her all afternoon since Storm had told her about Mr. Pratter. She'd imagined seeing him outside every window she passed. She pictured an older man with a scraggly beard, cold grey eyes, and a toothy, deranged grin. It creeped her out to no end.
Scott finally returned from his "date". He walked into the mansion; his hair was messed up and his shirt was dirty and scorched. He looked like he'd stepped on a tiny landmine, only he was in slightly better condition than most mine victims were. He panted and jogged his way into the professor's office. He passed several people along the way who gave him strange glances.
Knock, knock. Scott waited for an answer. Nothing. Knock, knock. Louder.
"Yes!" The professor's familiar voice called impatiently from the other side. Scott stepped inside. The professor was sitting and reading again. He looked tired and stressed out, his expression looking like one of a new parent or something. Scott grinned internally, glad things were working out so well.
"Uh, um," he began, trying to sound guilty and hesitant.
"Get it out, Scott," the professor insisted, huffing a little. "And my goodness, what happened to your clothes?"
"Uh, yeah, about that…" Scott laughed sheepishly. "Well, um, you know how I was on a date with Jean. In your car?"
"Uh…" the professor said, not liking the sound of this at all.
"Well, I, um, wrecked it," Scott got out after a brief, painful pause. The professor's eyes grew very wide very quickly. He did a great deer-in-the-headlights impression before the news finally sunk in.
"M…My car?" the professor squeaked. His face looked totally crazy, full of disbelief, shock, and surprise. "My favorite Jaguar?" he added remorsefully. He looked up at Scott, his expression shifting to something grimmer. "What happened?" he demanded.
"Well, Jean and I got a little crazy on the ride back a…and we crashed it into the front gates. Um, sorry," he added lamely, feeling a tiny bit of genuine guilt.
The professor sighed, sounding almost like a whine. "It's still there?" he asked. "At the gates?" He couldn't believe it. Not his baby, his beautiful car. Scott was such a good driver, too. How could he do something so foolish? His mind was going bonkers.
"Yeah," Scott confirmed, sighing and hanging his head for effect. He led the professor to the front doors. Through them, they could clearly see the crashed black vehicle. Seeing it only made the professor tense up and freak out more. He looked like he might cry.
Nearby, some of the students were hiding and watching the Prof's reactions. "Poor Professor," Amara mouthed at Kitty. Kitty grinned and shook her head.
"Oh, dear," the professor sighed heavily, as if he suddenly had the weight of the world on his shoulders.
"I'm real sorry, Professor," Scott consoled him, patting him on the shoulder. The professor frowned but accepted the apology.
"I…it's ok, Scott. It was just an accident."
"Yeah. Luckily we're both ok, too."
"Yes…" the professor said slowly, turning his chair around. "I think I'll go sit in my office for a while. Please clean up the wreck," he added in a low, sad whisper. Scott watched him roll away before bolting out the door and running over to the wrecked car.
Kurt and Evan were hiding behind it, fanning a tiny fire by the back wheels. They jumped up when they saw Scott coming.
"Did he believe it?" they asked at the same time.
"Yup. It brought a tear to his eye, too," Scott said, cackling evilly. "He has no idea we faked it."
"Brilliant," Kurt said. "Zo…where's ze real car, may I ask?"
Scott shrugged. "Jean parked it at her parents' house for the afternoon. I get to bring it back tomorrow morning or whatever."
"So now what?" Evan wondered, standing up and stretching.
"Now what? Are you kidding? The best part was seeing the prof shed a tear and get all emotional. What more do you want?"
Night came. The professor had been going nuts ever since he saw his wrecked car sitting in the driveway. He'd been brooding, suffering, and slowly going crazy in his office. A few students had come to check on him, only to have their heads bitten off and handed back to them by a very upset Professor X. Everyone decided to leave him alone.
Eventually, the students who were in on the joke decided he'd had enough. They all agreed to put the poor professor out of his misery and confess to their crimes. They all gathered outside his office nervously.
"C…come in," the professor said after a moment, sounding very tired. The students shuffled in to see Storm sitting by him, comforting him.
"What are you all doing here?" she asked, since the professor seemed too upset to say anything.
"Um," Jean said, drawing a circle in the carpet with her shoe. "Well, we have to confess something."
The professor looked up expectantly, his eyes moving from one child to the next. He nodded for her to continue.
"We never wrecked your car," Scott admitted gingerly, wincing as he said it.
There was a long, awkward silence. "What?" the professor asked finally, sounding more shocked than anything.
"We were pulling a prank," Jean explained. "We hid your Jag and put an old, wrecked one we found in its place. I swear, your car is safe."
"A…and we stole your tea," Kitty threw in guiltily, blushing like crazy. "It's all in the basement."
"Und we moved around some things in your office," Kurt chimed in just for the hell of it.
There was another long silence while the professor digested this new information. "So…you were all messing with me today?" he asked, sounding disappointed.
They all nodded pitifully, awaiting the punishment they thought they would get.
There was silence, then the professor laughed. It started as a tiny chuckle, then he just kept laughing and laughing until he threw his head back and closed his eyes. The students all blinked and looked at each other, extremely confused by his reaction.
"So, wait," Evan said. "We're not in trouble? You're not mad?"
The professor stopped, looking back at his wayward students. "I suppose not, since no real harm was done," he confessed.
"Whew," several students said at the same time.
"Oh, but there will be extra danger room sessions for all of you for the next month," he added. He sounded extremely serious, but he was grinning slightly.
There was one simultaneous, "Awww."
The professor chuckled again. "Well, it's only fair, isn't it? You hid my tea and made me think my car was gone and that I was going crazy. It was funny to you. Entertainment. Well, seeing my students working hard is entertaining to me. I think we're all even," he explained simply.
No one could really disagree.
The students were all gathered in the living room, discussing the day's activities. "Well, that was really awesome, but I'm glad it's over," Evan admitted.
"Me too," Kitty threw in. "I mean, the prof going crazy was totally funny, but I think we would have gotten in really big trouble if we hadn't confessed."
"As if DR sessions for life ain't gettin' in trouble," Rouge snorted.
"Aww, we'll live," Scott snickered. "Personally, I'd do that again any day."
"For now, we're finished though," Kurt said. "No more pranks."
"Ok," the others agreed. They finished talking, then broke up and went to their rooms.
Kitty was sound asleep, enjoying some rest after an eventful day. She didn't mind the DR session punishment—it had been worth it to see the professor loose his cool and go nuts.
Kitty rolled over in her sleep. There was nothing to disturb her, just the sound of her own breathing. Rouge was sleeping over with someone else, which meant she had the room to herself.
Just then, there was a rapping at the window. A steady, scratching sound. Kitty opened her eyes, but didn't move. Her dream dissipated, leaving her wondering if the noise was reality or not. It came again, another cycle of tapping, scratching, silence. Kitty's eyes grew wide.
Oh God! Mr. Pratter, she thought desperately. Her heart raced and sweat beaded up on her brow. I am going to die. The images came back to her again—the evil eyes, the crazy hair, the deranged grin. It was all too real and horrifying. She wanted to run away screaming, but she also was paralyzed with fear.
Just then, the scratching came again, this time accompanied by the tune of "Oh Danny Boy." Kitty snapped. She jumped out of bed and bolted across the room. She ran right through the door and down the hall, screaming bloody murder all the way.
Outside the window, Storm was levitating Logan, who was scratching on Kitty's windows and whistling gleefully. When she shot up and ran off screaming, he chuckled his deep, throaty laugh. Even Storm had to laugh a little.
"That was brilliant, Logan," she said, lowering him and herself slowly to the ground.
"Yeah," Logan agreed, still laughing. "That'll teach the half-pint to mess with me." As he and Storm made their way back inside, Logan scratched every window he passed, just for fun, and hummed "Oh Danny Boy" as he went.
Now it's all over. The end. Review if it didn't suck too badly. Love you guys!
-The Ember Raven